Summer Auction 2019 Sale 76
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/31/2019
A highly desirable and rare piece of presidential memorabilia, a fifty-star flag of the President of the United States, hand-made by the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot and intended to be flown from the presidential limousine, created during the administration of President DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (1890-1969). The field of the 28 1/4" x 17 3/4" flag is constructed of navy-blue nylon wool bunting, trimmed around the three flight edges with a hand-knotted 1 ¼" fringe of alternating yellow and white thread, while the hoist edge is folded over and sewn, with the fringe absent. The eagle at the center of the Great Seal of the United States comprises a single piece of white fabric applique, with details skillfully applied with textile paint. The shield at the eagle's breast is constructed of blue cloth applique for the chief, with alternating rays of red and white cloth below. The rays behind the eagle are stitched in yellow thread, while the stars within the rays and encircling the seal overall are white cloth applique. All applique elements are affixed with distinctive zig-zag stitching in the same color as the underlying cloth. While somewhat unorthodox in appearance, the materials, dimensions, and manner of construction seen on this flag fully comply with the guidelines laid down by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry's "Drawing No. 5-1-18" of July 20, 1967, a copy of which is provided with this lot. This document, which dictates the manner of construction for all styles of Presidential flags issued for official use, identifies two types of limousine flags, the first constructed of rayon with embroidered embellishments, and the second constructed of nylon wool bunting with applique embellishments in precisely the manner described above. In addition, a white fabric maker's label is sewn inside the top of the hoist, reading: "Flag, Dist., Pres./Nylon & Wool Bntg./W/Fringe 1'6" x 2'/2" Item 2 Job 6279/DTD 9-7-60/P[hiladelphia] Q[uarter] M[aster] C[orps] Mfg. Div." The inspector of the flag has added their initials "JMQ" and the numeral "4" to this label in faint black ink. The interior of the hoist also fitted with soft brown leather tabs at top and bottom, and faintly bears the black ink name "Roy". It also contains a small slip of card stock with the ink notation "Pressed R", and "Check Olives Arrows" in pencil. The hoist shows three moth nips at the bottom, exposing the underlying white silesia lining, but the flag is otherwise in fine condition. This fifty-star variant of the Presidential Flag was adopted by executive order on Feb. 5, 1960, to honor the entry of Hawaii into the union, to become effective July 4th of that year. The Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot was re-designated the Defense Personnel Support Center in 1965, and flags manufactured there after that date were so marked. These possible dates of manufacture, coupled with the inspector's date of 1960, indicate that this flag was manufactured and delivered to the White House during the final year of the Eisenhower administration. It would have been flown from the left-hand flag pole at the front of the presidential limousine, opposite the American Flag, in situations where the President was the only distinguished passenger. On occasions when the car was occupied by a visiting foreign leader, this flag would be replaced by the flag of that dignitary's home country. While the rayon variant of this flag was reserved for events of the highest formality, this bunting example was utilized for more relaxed, less ceremonious events, and was considered more disposable. This example was presented to the father of our consignor as a token of thanks by a White House military advisor whom he declined to identify, circa 1975-1978. Our consignor's notarized letter laying out these details is included. This flag would comprise a valuable and striking addition to any collection of American flags or Presidential memorabilia.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $6,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $3,250.00
Estimate: $12,000 - $14,000
Auction closed on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
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